6. English Dictionary and Grammar Guide

A spell-checker on its own is not enough (altho pleeze ewes wun iv ewe hav itt). A good dictionary will not only tell you how to spell a word but also how to pronounce it, what it means, and something of its history. Something like the Concise Oxford or the equivalent edition from any reputable publisher will do most of the jobs you will need doing without needing to visit a reference library to consult the full multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary. A useful on-line dictionary is to be found at:

http://dictionary.reference.com 1

Note that this is an American site so American-English is given priority over British-English which is there but you have to look for it. My local library allows me to access the Oxford English Dictionary as well as Encyclopaedia Britannica and many other standard references works on-line and the chances are your local library service does too so I suggest you join and use these valuable free resources.

While we are looking at English we remind you that you are studying at a Bible School and want you to learn more about God through studying His word. However as part of your assessment, if you are studying for BBS credit, and part of your ministry if you are teaching others, it is important to use good English. If you write (or say) Elijah when you actually mean Elisha then there will be miscommunication; Amoz is not the same person as Amos, so one letter makes a big difference. If you are not confident in your use of English grammar we will try to help although unless you fail to communicate we will never penalise grammatical mistakes. If you want some help we recommend the following or indeed find something along similar lines that works for you:

Jarvie, Gordon, Grammar Guide – the way English language works (London: Bloomsbury, 1993).

Partridge, Eric (revised by Janet Whitcut), Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999).

Trask, R. L., Mind the Gaffe: The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2002).

Truss, Lynne, Eats, Shoots and Leaves – the zero tolerance approach to punctuation (London: Profile Books, 2003).


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  1. Checked and working on 29/4/2016